Our garden often beckons me to come see. Fortunately, I’m at a time of life where it’s possible to heed its siren song, to take a leisurely stroll with much stopping to check out how things are growing. You know what I mean; what new flower is in bloom, which ones need dead-heading, where do the beds need weeding? I’ll take a minute or two to nod at the cheerful shasta daisies and smile at the vivacious fiesta flowers.
I don’t neglect the vegetable garden in my meanderings. Do the cucumber leaves hide any baby cukes? Any ripe tomatoes? Any bugs on the potatoes? Has the Swiss chard grown enough to yield another cutting?
On summer evenings, warm and fine,
when work is done and time is mine,
when sun glows rich on leaf and vine,
I wander round my garden. (Margaret Ingall)
After my jaunt, I return inside refreshed for the tasks I’ve left behind. My garden yields much more than bouquets of blooms and tasty veggies. It refreshes, revives, and recharges my spirit.
Every day the garden changes just a little. And that is as it should be, for it is full of growing things. Which reminds me that we also need to grow a little every day as we meander through God’s garden of verses—the Bible. “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”(2 Peter3:18). There may be “respectable” sins we have not yet uncovered. Or, one or more of the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control—may be stunted or missing from our life.
We may need to take a leisurely stroll through the Psalms, sit still and imbibe the wisdom of the Sermon on the Mount, or ponder the parables. And as we stroll through God’s garden, we can pick thoughts to adorn our lives, truths to restore passion to our flagging spirits, promises to lift us from despair or doubt, guidance on how to be more fruitful.
Many have suggested the importance of systematically reading through the whole Bible, in a year or two. We would be very wise to have such a plan; perhaps daily reading a chapter or two from each Testament. I recently re-read Genesis in combination with Revelation and was astonished again at the stories of creation and covenant on the one hand and prophecies of the future, on the other. They brought me back to basics.
Sometimes, however, we need to be more relaxed in our reading. To linger longer over a few verses or a single psalm; letting the Holy Spirit open a passage more deeply to our soul. The main thing we should keep in mind is that like Adam and Eve walking with God in the cool of the day, we need to daily walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit through His Garden of Revelation.